Wednesday, June 04, 2008

a mosaic of me

My creation
Originally uploaded by AV Knits

Got this off of Sandy's blog. It is:

1. my first name (Alison)
2. my favorite food (cookies)
3. my high school (Hanover High School)
4. my favorite color (blue)
5. my celebrity crush (Colin Firth)
6. my favorite drink (water)
7. my dream vacation (Cinque Terre)
8. my favorite dessert (sticky rice with mango)
9. what I want to be when I grow up (go ahead, try to guess)
10. what I love most in the world (dogs)
11. one word that describes me (loving)
12. my flicker name (AV knits)

I have to admit, the overall effect makes me verrrry happy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Some things you just don't appreciate until something goes wrong with them. Feet, for example. Who would have thought that a little teensy bit of toe surgery could set me so off for so long? However, my foot and I have come a long way. Here is my foot today:

My, sez you, that's a humdinger of a scar. Yes, well, I suppose it will fade some, and as my sweetie (diplomatically) pointed out, my feet never were my most beautiful feature. There's still some swelling and I start eight rounds of physical therapy next week. FOR MY TOE. For crying out loud.

Meanwhile, there has been some birthday knitting. For my son the football fanatic (remember when he used to be the penguin guy? Now it's all Randy Moss, all the time), I knit a hat in the colors of the San Diego Chargers. I knit it, he loved it, he wore it to his Alexandria Band Concert the very night of his birthday, and accidentally left it there. Poor guy, he was bereft. So I knit him another:

TVE's chargers hat
Yarn Harlot's generic hat pattern
dark horse yarns

For my sweetie's birthday I knit socks. He's been begging for socks. He is the most appreciative recipient of handknit socks I could possibly wish for. He lurves my socks. As soon as they're washed, he wears them again. It is so fun to knit him socks. Mods: one of them is knit in garter rib, and with the other I carried the 4 X 1 ribbing down the top of the foot. Both legs are loooong and without calf shaping, per request. Here they are:

SE birthday socks
Hellen's Favorite Socks pattern
yarns bought in Berlin (Meilenweit and Gedifra)

Lastly on the knitting front, this Mason-Dixon bib for my Mom to give to a dear friend's new granddaughter:

Becca's bib
Mason-Dixon Knitting
Sugar n Creme

So now we're fully into the spring season, last quarter of the school year, preparing for spring concerts, spring field trips, spring things. I've managed to put together all the complicated summer activities and still leave each kid with at least 3 weeks ABSOLUTELY FREE. Very proud of that. This week we're picking out courses for the girl's first year of high school (how, exactly, did THAT happen??). I'll leave you with two springy pics:

our dogwoods, just thinking about blooming

birthday guy, riding high

Thursday, January 31, 2008

in which her good sense is removed with her bone spur

So, I had this clapotis that I made, that I love so much I want to wear it into the shower with me. I love it so much that I want another one, this one in bright, rich, lush colors to contrast the caramel goodness of the first one.

And I had this leftover hand-dyed sock yarn. About 250 grams of perfectly perfect Lisa Souza hand-dyed "wild things" sock yarn, just longing to be knit into a bright, rich, lush clapotis. The only problems is, the clapotis patterns calls for 400 grams of yarn.

Here's the part where I lost my mind.

I'll order some more! [sensible brain: that's hand-dyed yarn, idiot. It won't be the same!] It will be close to the same! [close only counts in horseshoes, dummy. Have you never knit anything before in your life?] I'll put the lot that I like best at the ends, and the other lot in the middle, and then the difference won't be noticeable! [Have you ever seen a scarf before?] Yes, I got well into the straight rows still convincing myself that it would be workable, several rows into the new dye lot, now thinking things like: it looks obvious when it's spread out, but when it's bunched up around my neck the difference with smooth out! [I give up. Pass her some orange acrylic--she'll knit anything. Hey, anybody got a martini out there?]

But at some point, the most denying knitter has to face facts. Which is how my two-toned clapotis became this:

perfectly lovely, not-its-fault
Lisa Souza superwash merino hand-dyed
colorway "wild things"
new lot on left, old lot on right

I find, miraculously, that frogging is not all that painful for me. It's like getting to start a new project without finished the old one. And we all love that, right?

After some thought, I still think that clapotis is what I want to do to show off this yarn's jewel-toned glory, so I'm going to knit a smaller, thinner version. I've begun already. And I've got lots of time to knit these days because of this:

This is my left foot, two days after surgery to remove a bone spur from the outside of my big toe (does anyone see that I got someone called "Randy Moss" to sign my bandage? hm...). This surgery's been a long time coming. Apparently a long-forgotten dance injury (first thing the doc said when he examined my toe: "do you have a dance background?" Number One common injury for dancers--arthritic big toes), over the years it became arthritis, which morphed into a big fat old bone spur wrapping around the joint. A few shots of cortisone were miraculous for a few days each, but clearly weren't going to return me to my yoga and 3-mile dog walking routines. So I bit the bullet and off came the spur.

A note is appropriate here to thank my fantabulous husband for taking over all of the duties that I normally perform for our family with graciousness and good cheer and remarkable competence. Also to my dad for chauffeuring boys to trumpet lessons and myself to doctor's appointments, and to my best buddies for bringing me lunches and company. The kids have been a big help too, reserving the bulk of their complaints for the usual things. Thanks, everyone.

Now that a week has passed and the ginormobandage has been removed, I've graduated to a smaller bandage encased in, what else, a slightly oversized (because it was the first sock I EVER KNIT) handknit koigu sock:
True, it hasn't been signed by Randy Moss, but MAN is it soft and comfy. So I think I'm ready for a 4-day ski trip, don't you? No? OK, it's true: I'll be the one not skiing. But who could resist 4-days of r & r in the mountains of West Virginia at my friend's brand new house, where 10 other women will do the skiing and the cooking, and I'll do the knitting? What better way to recuperate from foot surgery (and give the family a chance to recuperate from me)? So I'm off.

Before I go, one more pic from the Christmas knitting. This morning my aforementioned wonderful guy came downstairs wearing his Christmas vest, and although it was not a sunny morning, and therefore not auspicious for photographing, I seized the moment and snapped a pic:

Peter Easy Vest
knitpicks swish worsted, colorway lilac heather

Overall I think we're both quite pleased. Ideally the armholes would be larger and the v-neck smaller, and I don't yet have the tweaking skills necessary to change a pattern that way. But it fits, it looks excellent, it's warm and soft and woolly, and I think it might be safe to say that I'm not afraid of sweaters anymore. Time to knit one for myself... ?

Friday, January 18, 2008

gratuitous poodle post

This is my sweet Josie, wondering what to make of the snow. She is a true Virginia dog (born in Dinwiddie!) and has seen the white stuff few enough times that she is always astonished by it. As a rule, she runs around in mad circles, lets fly a round of exclamatory barks, jumps on a nearby human, and then stands, bemused, which is the state captured above. For all that she is an utter goofball, she does have a stately carriage. A handsome, unpoofy poodle if ever there was one.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

holiday update (about time)

I do seem to be one of those who is loathe to post without photos. I still don't have photos of everything from my holiday knitting, but here's some progress.


I knit 18 korknisse and 11 round ornaments (photos in previous posts), plus 3 more ornaments for gifting. My son and I also made roughly 11 of these:

modern paper ornaments


That same son was gifted a pair of handknit socks, which he was gracious enough to put on his feet right then and there and he wears them any time they're clean:

TVE orange socks
Hellen's Favorite Socks pattern
yarn purchased somewhere in Berlin

For my mom, more things to keep her warm:

fetching for Mom
debbie bliss cashmerino

Dad then wore Mom's fetching mitts pretty much all of Christmas day. He says the warmth helps his arthritic hands. Well, who could resist that?

fetching-ish for Dad
knitpicks swish
same colorway (same yarn) that I used for BAWK

I started to knit him a pair of dashing mitts, given that they are supposed to be the masculine version of fetching. But by the time I'd gotten through the first big cable it was clear that these were not going to work for my Dad. They were both too long and too narrow. Instead, I simply knit him a pair of fetchings, omitting the cables. They're handsome and stretchy and soft, and we're both quite pleased.

At Mom's request, I knit these ballband dishcloths for our cousin Huddy, who wrote me a delightful thank-you card in return:

ballband dishcloths
Mason-Dixon knitting
sugar n creme cotton yarn

More holiday knit pics soon, plus an update on last year's resolutions (no sock yarn! no dishcloth cotton! Ha!), and some new ideas for 2008.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

crafty nuttiness

I seem to have gone a bit off the deep end with the holiday crafts... in addition to various gifts which I won't show here until they're given, I've made:

knitted ornaments
Melanie Falick,
Handknit Holidays
stash sock yarn and beads

bitsy elf clogs

alisha bauman at

And ever more korknisser

Saturday, November 24, 2007

the holiday knitting begins!

Around this time of year it gets harder to feed the blog, because so many of the projects underway are secret. I have many holiday thingies going now, but there are a couple of things that I can share. First, my mom's birthday present:

BAWK hot water bottle cozy
knitpicks swish, colorway forgotten

This was a huge hit, and very fun to knit.

Next up:

saartje knits
stash patons classic merino (various colors)

These take me about 20 minutes to knit, and I knit one whenever I need a break from some other task. They're delightful, and I still have about 10 corks left in my stash. No end in sight.

Finally, something for ME!

ropes and ladders scarf
luxury cashmerino from AC Moore, 2 strands

This yarn started out to be a sweater for myself about two years ago, but I got bogged down keeping track of increases and decreases. I frogged it last new year's in a fit of UFO cleansing, and it was thrilling! I still have some left for a pair of fetching to match (although when one would wear this snuggly, bulky scarf with bare fingers is not clear to me). I wish the scarf rolled less at the edges, but maybe that's just because I'm too lazy to block it. It's really cozy and looks great with my black winter jacket. After about 10 minutes the wool does begin to itch a little bit because I am a certified wool wimp, but it's worth it.